Villeneuve out of Daytona 500
|By Diego Mejia||Friday, February 15th 2008, 03:47 GMT|
Former Formula One World champion Jacques Villeneuve blamed handling issues on his Toyota for missing the field of his first Daytona 500, following a crash during the second Gatorade Duel.
Villeneuve ran well in the first part of the 150-mile qualifying event where he needed a good result to be able to lock himself in the field for the Daytona 500.
However, the handling on his car got more difficult every lap, ultimately causing him to lose control and crash out of the event.
"When you've got a perfect setup it's not too bad but when you start sliding [the cars] are a handful, mostly in the traffic," Villeneuve said. "My car was quite quick, it was just a little bit too loose and I just got caught out there."
The Canadian had endured a difficult day on Wednesday, brushing the wall during practice. His cause had not been helped by his result in last Sunday's qualifying session, where he was off from the target that he and his team had planned.
"It's very, very disappointing but we had a terrible day yesterday," Villeneuve added. "The car wasn't working. We found the problem, we fixed it but then we weren't really sure what the balance was going to be in the race and it was just a little too loose."
Villeneuve ran an unbranded red and white Toyota Camry during the Gatorade Duel as he still seeks a sponsor to allow him to raise the budget to complete his first season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.